We have been getting through Division 1, and as expected the results from the round robin were really close. Almost all of the teams making the playoffs had between 4 and 6 points respectively. Obviously this creates fun situations for us, as we have to head to tie breakers to ensure that everyone is seeded correctly. Although with a division as close as this one, almost anyone could be seeded 1 through 8 and it wouldn’t matter.
Out of the gate this morning, we had some teams come in ready to play, and some others that may have still have been waiting for the alarm to go off. The Mudcats came in ready to play as they got the Tour Roadrunners black earlier this morning. In what was a pretty ho hum game for the Mudcats, they played disciplined and walked away with a 4-0 win. The Tour Excitement also woke up on the right side of the bed, as they took it to the ISCA Grizzlies having no mercy, as they garnered an easy win for themselves 8-0.
To go with those easier paced games, there were also a lot of hard fought close games as well. Once teams got a little closer to seeding time, the defense started tightening up, and the goal scoring became a little harder to come by. The Mudcats after having a bit of a sleepy game in the morning found themselves in a dogfight in the afternoon for their last round robin game. They jumped out to a big lead on the Alkali FTB. The Mudcats put it in cruise control a little and watched as the FTB squad poured it on late with 3 quick goals. Although they came back hard and pushed to the end, it was to no avail as the Mudcats would hold the FTB off 7-6. The Tour Excitement clawing for a good seed had a tough road ahead of themselves as they played a very inspired Mississauga Rattler club. The game was tight checking and very defensive as neither team wanted to give in. In game of coaching and tit for tat, it was the Excitement who would find the net one more time than the Rattlers, and take them down by a score of 3-2. After this game finished, we would be able to set the seeding for Division 1.
The teams seeded out like this. Capturing the #1 seed, the Revision Vanquish, followed by #2 Alkali FTB, #3 Tour Mudcats, #4 Alkali Asylum, #5 Infamous, #6 Tour Excitement, and rounding out our playoff teams, #7 Mississauga Mission Rattlers.
The Vanquish got a bye, while we have the other 6 seeds playing for the right to move on. So far, we have 2 playoff games in the books, while we are waiting for another one to go final.
Our first playoff game, featuring the #7 Mississauga Mission Rattlers and the #2 Alkali FTB was one for the ages. The FTB had been playing so strong, that I felt there was a good chance for them to make the final. Especially after the way they had fought back against a very tough Mudcats team. FTB came out of the gate strong, scoring about 2 minutes into the game. That lead would be short lived, as the Rattlers would come back with 2 goals less than a minute apart to take a 2-1 lead. FTB would keep their composure and score with about 6:33 left in the first period to tie the game up. This would be all the scoring for the first period as Rattler goaltender Chris Wills stood on his head saving at least 2 sure goals to keep the game tied. In the 2nd period the Rattlers would score early to take the lead. The game played back and forth for a couple of minutes until the Rattlers went streaking. They scored 5 goals in just over 2 minutes to put the game out of reach. FTB would try and mount a semblance of a come back, but it was too little too late, as the upstart Rattlers proved to be too much for FTB to handle. Final score Rattlers 9 – FTB 4.
The 2nd Division 1 playoff game of the day would pit the # 3 Tour Mudcats against the #6 Tour Excitement. This game would be just as entertaining as the 1st playoff game, just with tighter defense and less goal scoring. This game started out as a chess match, as both teams took quite a bit of time to feel the other. After awhile, something had to give, and it was the Excitement scoring the 1st goal of the game at 5:37 in the 1st. The Mudcats would find an opportunity of their own a few seconds later as they would tie the game at 5:52 in the 1st. The momentum seemed to stay with the Mudcats as they would score again at 2:16 in the 1st. The game went into the 2nd period with the Mudcats holding a small lead on the Excitement, however the insurance goal would come less than a minute into the 2nd period, giving the Mudcats a little room to breathe. Unfortunately for the Excitement, the room to breathe for the Mudcats became the room they needed to suffocate the Excitement. Each team would add a goal late, but this one would go in the books as a win for the Mudcats, and they would be moving on.
In our most exciting playoff game of the day, we had the #5 Infamous playing against the #4 Alkali Asylum. The Asylum are a big strong team, while the Infamous depend on smart defensive play and very few shots on net. Asylum would come out of the gate strong, and score early in the 1st period. They would control much of the half, as they would score another goal to go into the intermission leading by 2. Infamous would come into the 2nd period with a different attitude and a different style of play. With their backs against the wall, Infamous would play hard and score a quick goal. The game would be completely different after this point as both teams would really put it all out there. Infamous would find their rhythm and put on a lot of pressure late in the period. The hard work would pay off, as they scored with roughly 2 minutes left in the game. Now with a tie game and nothing to lose, Infamous turned in a huge performance, as they just put shot after shot on net. They chased down every loose puck and finally caused a big turnover with about 12 seconds left. A great pass, followed by an even better move, and a money shot, put Infamous ahead with 10 seconds left in the game. The Asylum would lose the ensuing face off and the game would end with Infamous winning by a score of 3-2.
Our Midget Platinum teams also played out their round robin games today, and their seeding just went final. Taking the top seeds would be #1 seeded Tour Excitement Black, and the #2 Alkali RPD. Both of these teams will have a first round bye in the playoffs. Following them will be the #3 seeded Black Ice, #4 Mississauga Mission Rattlers, #5 Revision Vanquish, and the #6 Tour Excitement Silver. I will have more on their playoffs tomorrow.